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Alternative Therapies for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Updated on December 27, 2015

Chronic Fatigue syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome neither has a specific definition, nor a specific diagnostic test. As a result, in many cases, the patient is diagnosed incorrectly. However, we can recognize this problem when a person begins to complain of: having a full nights sleep but still wakes up tired, having concentration or energy drop-outs in the middle of the day, having food allergies that had not been a problem before, having reaction to environmental conditions that has never been a problem before, [e.g., hay fever, asthma, sensitivity to pollution or skin care products] or having depressed immunity.

This pattern includes mild fever, muscular pain, neck stiff­ness, cervical lymphadenopathy, gastroenteric symptoms, diffuse CNS involvement and photosensitivity.

Medical Studies of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Studies in the United States have previously found between 75 and 420 cases of CFS cases in every 100,000 adults. It shows that more than 1 million Americans have CFS and approximately 80% of the cases are undiagnosed. So there is a very good chance that many people who go from medication to medication are suffering from chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

CFS generally occurs in endemic cases (one of the few kinds to behave in this way). In addition, over 50 instances have been documented, such as the Royal Free Hospital incident, where epidemic clusters were reported giving an idea that chronic fatigue syndrome may soon become a public health concern.

An Example of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Frank fell ill since when he was 20 years old and since then he's been having one reason or the other to visit the doctor and it is as if nothing is really wrong but he just keep falling ill.

As a child they were times he became withdrawn not due to apathy but energy drops. Investigations only suggested he was slightly anemic and should be placed on blood supplements. He also had sleeping spells in the middle of discussions and once the doctor decided to test for trypanosomiasis infection thinking he could be suffering from sleeping sickness. However, nothing close to that was found.

It took time for medical practitioners to decipher the problem. That people are different and that some have high energy levels while some have low levels and that Frank was one of the later. It however took an alternative medical practitioner to pin down the problem as chronic fatigue syndrome and nutritional medication was prescribed.

Franks now plays football for a local team in town and even keeps late nights like everyone else.

Most cases of CFS have similar stories and course as Franks' and the unfortunate thing is the difficulty of diagnosing the problem early. Many people despite treatment, do not fully recover from CFS. Some management strategies are suggested to reduce the consequences of having CFS. Medical treatments, complementary and alternative medicine are considered.

Here we will concentrate on the Alternative Therapies for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome available. Basically nutritional supplements have been found to be very effective in dealing with this problem in many patients.

Some people with CFS have reported improvement in their symptoms as a result of taking certain herbal supplements.

A Few Alternative Therapies for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus), has properties that positively influences both adrenal and immune system function. People placed on Siberian ginseng have shown a boost in their immune system. T-lymphocyte and natural killer cell levels are found to increase in count. These are cells that are usually very low in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients.

Some Echinacea species (Echinacea angustifolia, E. purpurea, E. pallida) are also effective immune system enhancer. People with CFS, who may have increased allergic reactions to foreign substances, should use this particular herb with caution as they could be aggravated allergic reactions.

Anti-oxidants like Vitamin C also helps to neutralize free radicals in the body. Vitamin C also helps the body absorb nutrients like iron needed to produce healthy red blood cells, which supply oxygen to all parts the body. Boosting vitamin C levels can help increase cellular metabolism, debilitating wound healing, and help those with chronic fatigue become energetic.

Other vitamins with usefulness in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome treatment are Vitamin E, the trace mineral selenium, beta-carotene, abundant naturally in carrots and vegetables that are converted to vitamin A in the body.

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is an herb with antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. It increase levels of cortisol, an adrenal hormone that helps the body cope with stress, which is typically lower than normal in most chronic fatigue syndrome sufferers. It is important to note that oral supplements containing licorice are not recommended for long-term use, and should be avoided entirely if a person is suffering from high blood pressure or heart or liver disease.

St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) and valerian (Valeriana officinalis) has found usefulness in management of treatment of anxiety, depression, and insomnia in people suffering CSF. St. John's wort is recommended for treatment of mild to moderate depression, lose of appetite, inflammation, and also used to achieve increase energy levels in some individuals; while valerian is proven to induce sleep as effectively as some pharmaceutical drugs, without harmful side effects like chemical dependency and morning lethargy often known to follow administration of these medications.

Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) and Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus), are two herbal supplements that have been in use in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for thousands of years for treatment of several illnesses. It also can help increase anti-oxidant levels, proffers antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial protection to the body.

Coenzyme Q10, this is a chemical substance that helps to catalyze the rate of chemical reactions of enzymes in the body. In other words, it helps enzymes to perform their functions optimally. The process of conversion of protein, fat, and carbohydrates to energy all require the activities of these coenzymes, by so doing, the body is supplied with adequate levels of energy.

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  • Ramzeed profile image

    Ramzeed 6 years ago from Maryland

    I love this!!!

  • profile image

    richard 7 years ago

    Excellent collection of alternative therapies and information for those working with this debilitating problem.